MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Before and After. April - October 2009

Copyright 2009 TatyanaS

The following is a report about the project that has been started in April 2009.
For five years, the area along the garage wall was not getting any attention. Three yellow spots on the picture below are the grasses planted there temporarily, before the right spot for them would be found. Two of them were Moor grass (Molinia "Variegata"), and one was Japanese Blood grass.

The long naked wall bothered me, and planting started.
Professional help (see the picture below) was hired at a rate of $4 per planting hole. A pick-axe was used since the native soil here is sandy with a lot of rocks ranging in size from pebbles to two- pounders.

First, two climbing hydrangeas came (H. petiolaris "Mirranda"and Schizophragma hydrangeoides "Moonlight"), followed by three clumps of Bowles' Golden grass (Milium effusum "Aureum") and several hostas. I hope the hydrangeas won't turn to monster plants described in one of the posts written by someone from blotanists.

Then, came magnolia Vine Eastern Prince (Schizandrs chinensis) - on the right corner. This is one of the vines which can tolerate shade. It is originally from northern China and the Russian Far East (the post about it is here This Plant Is A WWII Hero. (Vine For Shade) ). I like it for its beautiful foliage as well as its pests- and disease resistance.

Pink Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectablis Pink) was happy to get more space after sitting for several years in a container.

A couple of Coleuses add color to otherwise green and white palette, especially after the Bleeding Heart finishes blooming.

Bowles' Golden grass is the fastest growing plant in a new border . With such growth, I might need to divide it by next fall.

Below is the current view. All the plants seem to be happy. Helleborus foetidus "Gold bullion" is a baby plant which has been moved from the mother plant growing in front of the house. The post about it is here Hellebores Foetidus - A Year-Round Beauty . The only plant that I might replace is the Japanese Blood grass which does best in full sun. What I have here is part shade with several hours of afternoon sun.

Generally speaking, I am pleased with the result. Different shades of green, whites of variegated grasses and hydrangea blooms, plus pink & white blooms of a bleeding heart create a calm but bright border. Transplanted tiny plants of Helleborus niger should grow to good size clumps, fill the empty space and will add to the border's texture.

What would I do different? I would move the stepping stone path further from the wall and make the bed's edge curved. But, since the stepping stones were laid before the idea of having this bed was born, the shape and size of it were predetermined. Anyway, it's better than a narrow strip of land covered with mulch.

The question that I have: Do I need to remove the supports for the climbing hydrangeas? I read that these plants are so strong they will climb the wall without any help. Actually, I got scared after I read the post which I mentioned above. The author wrote how huge and unruly her plant became. Any advice?

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43 comments:

  1. How beautiful!! Your new planting is a masterpiece, I love the selection of plants, the colours and textures are so lovely and interesting and the trellises add wonderful structure. You should be proud! :) Rebecca

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  2. Lovely transformation Tatyana! Lots of texture and shades of green with the reds in your coleus. As for the climbing hydrangea... it is very robust and will cling to a bark... not sure you want it to cling to your clapboards ... how will you paint them? It will be hard to maintain the siding with the climber there. I do prune one of my climbers to a certain height and that seems to work but I would keep a strong support out away from the house. It did take seven years or so for my plant to really get established here but now it is up to sixty feet. Carol

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  3. I would leave the hydrangea supports in place so the vines do not get too close to the house. They look to be a good structure. I have the 'Schizo' 'Moonlight' hydrangea (as I call it). And while it is sited properly it has never done a thing in the 4 years it has been here. You might do better with that afternoon sun. Sounds like perfect growing conditions.

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  4. Hello Tatyana,

    What wonderful before and after (and steps in between) photos! I can't wait to see the flower blooms next year.

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  5. Ah, your border looks so green and lush. What a difference!

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  6. Sorry Tatyana I don't know anything about climbing Hydrangeas as it's one I don't have but your wall sure looks great! Much better than in April!

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  7. Pat yourself on the back, Tatyana ... a job well done! Don't know about the climbing hydrangeas. Since our house is all cedar, I grow Annabells that I heavily prune in autumn (leaves space for the heavy, shoveled, driveway snow).

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  8. That bed is so full and lush now...great progress! The supports should stay in place as the sucker roots of the hydrangea can really damage your siding. I trim mine to keep it clear off the house and it still blooms for me. Those bleeding hearts will be gorgeous come Spring ;)

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  9. What a wonderful transformation! I don't know about that vine. I think supports are always a good thing, though. I have some areas that get shade a lot of the day, and then the hot afternoon sun. I have trouble figuring out what to plant in those places. I have some hellebores in one of them, and I hope they thrive there. I have to water the area, because they are next to the house, under the gutter.

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  10. I can't help you with the info on the supports for your climbers. Having the supports keeping them off the house is a good thing in my mind.
    Love the look as your bed matured this season. $4 a hole is pretty good!

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  11. That filled in very nicely and looks so lush and healthy!

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  12. Can't help you with your question, but your area of garden looks wonderful, healthy and perfect.
    Thanks for the pix of the transformation, it is interesting to see the B4 and after pictures.

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  13. Good job, Tatyana! I think it looks great... and filling in nicely. Bleeding hearts are so pretty, I am waiting to plant some of these in the back of our house when my husband gets done with the siding in the back. You have a great combination of plants here.
    Rosey

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  14. Excellent! It looks beautiful!

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  15. Your border is looking great! I just moved a climbing hydrangea because I read something similar. You can always move it if it gets unruly, that's my theory! I put mine against a fence instead of against the house. I'm not sure what the big difference is, probably should have left it alone. live and learn

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  16. A beautiful garden with a wonderful collection of plants. Love the hydrangeas. Sorry I don't know anything about them. I searched and found they can get quite large. Should be very pretty.
    Congratulations.

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  17. I love these types of posts. I love how it turned out. The mix of color and shape of foliage is beautiful! It's so fun finding new places to turn into gardens.
    BTW I'm not telling my garden help how much yours gets paid, she'll think I'm cheap :)

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  18. Great job! You took an area that was dreary and boring and turned it into something fabulous. I loved the combination of plants you used for this shaded area. -Jackie

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  19. Таня, какая прелесть!

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  20. I love the different shades of green! As for the vines, I have a very big Schizophragma against a fence, and it's very much outgrown its support. Against the fence, I don't mind. Against the house, I'd leave the support and prune to fit. Should be easy in winter when the leaves are off....

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  21. The series was really good. Great to see the passage of time....
    the combination looks nice - shades of green, white and the others...
    Making the bed edge curve might be a good idea...

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  22. Your nex bed looks so good! That climbing Hydrangea, I have two neghbours across the streer that have them in their frontgarden and they are getting big. But I'm sure you're abel to cut them back if they grow over your head. They are so lovely when they bloom. Atleast I think you should give them a chance / gittan

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  23. I believe it's beautiful!

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  24. That looks great. I haven't visited you before, and I don't think i have ever seen a blog with so many followers.Wow!.
    I love the tree with the blushing bark. What a great color that is.

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  25. Your transformation is quite lovely, green and full! I don't know anything about climbing hydrangeas, but I'm about to find out since I have a shady, narrow spot that I'm unhappy with. Perhaps it will be just the thing! There were many weddings going on in Sedona while we were there. Such a beautiful spot for it, as you well know.

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  26. I think your garden looks great, Tatyana.

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  27. What a transformation. It has grown in beautifully Tatyana. Great textures. I love the moss around and along your stepping stones.

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  28. Tatyana, this is absolutely splendid! What a fabulous job you did coordinating colors, plantings, etc. for companions. I'm very impressed and it looks incredibly beautiful! You go, girl!

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  29. Hi Tatyana~~ This is the best kind of before and after illustration. You've done a fantastic job of jazzing up this previously bare wall. Nice plant choices.

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  30. Before and after photos are so much fun. Thanks. And you have such a nice looking border.

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  31. Before/afters - my favorite! I have a neglected strip like this, but it is under the eaves and on the north side so I fear it is hopeless. Not even any weeds want to grow there! I had a climbing hydrangea but it was a Japanese one, took forever to establish, then I left that garden just as it was starting to finally bloom after years. I hope yours don't turn on you! Thanks for the comment on my blog, and the reminder to look at the Amur (?) maple!

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  32. The garden looks great, Tatyana! I especially loved seeing the Blood Grass back lit...a few photos up~ I totally understand why you would want to plant it in the sun! It's a wonderful plant. Btw, I could use the $4 a planting hole help! Your son did a great job. gail

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  33. Tatyana, great job in transforming that space into a lovely border of texture and color.

    Good advice from Carol on the hydrangea. We have one that we have kept trimmed to about 9 feet (it is attached to a Doug fir stump with a bird house on top), and it has done beautifully over the past 12-14 years. This summer we visited a local garden that had one growing up and within a live tree, and it was beautiful reaching upwards of 25-30 feet.

    Additionally, the Dicentra (in our garden), although beautiful, tends to misbehave. You may have more control in your space.

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  34. It looks marvelous! Must be a joy to walk along that path to check on all the pretties.

    Cameron

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  35. Beautiful transformation, Tatyana! I love the variety in the plant choices you've made. Looks like you had some great help! I don't have any climbing hydrangeas so I can't help you there, but I like the looks of the trellises so I'd leave them where they are.

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  36. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! Based on what you said, I'll leave the trellises and watch those hydrangeas with pruners in my hands!

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  37. What a transformation. It looks fab. I love Dicentra, I've just been given a white one.

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  38. Hi Tatyana, I love the before and after too, and you are a generous client for the hole digger! The climbing hyds will for sure damage your siding, for they will grow root like fasteners that will enter the siding material. The one trellis looks like it has nice legs to keep it away from the house though, perfect! Love the golden grass, it brightens the shady spot well. :-)
    Frances

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  39. Tatyana, i must say you have done a great job. I love the bleeding heart blooms and sadly i have none yet. And yes leave hydrangeas and keep pruners in hand.

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  40. You have certainly planted an attractive border which should fill out in no time at all. No experience of climbing hydrangeas at all, let alone the climbing ones but good luck with it and I hope it does not become a monster :)

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  41. I think it looks really good but I try to tell myself when I'm wondering if I'm satisfied---I would have been really happy with this my first year of gardening ;)

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  42. Вышел на улицу - солнце светит, день просто потрясающий, есть 3 часа для раборты в цветнике, надо посадить тюльпаны, но вот чего-то не хватает... Прогулялся, понял, надо заглянуть в твой блог :-) Зашёл, вдохновился и отправляюсь в свой садик! Спасибо!!! Ну, просто очень красиво, вкусно и с любовью!

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  43. I love before and after posts too, it's so neat to see the transformation. And seems like a good choice of plants for the location.

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